WHY DIGITAL MARKETING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER POST COVID-19 PHASE?
“A man who stops marketing to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time” — Henry Ford
This one quote and THE man behind it is enough to make you, as a business owner, realize the true value of marketing.
There are two parts to a business.
The first is the offering — product, service, etc. And the second — customers!
But, here’s a fundamental question.
How do you think you would REACH to your customers to sell your product? How will your customers KNOW WHAT YOU SELL and WHY IT SOLVES THEIR NEEDS, let alone BUY IT AT THE FIRST PLACE.
That’s exactly where marketing comes in. It’s THE BRIDGE between YOU and the MARKET. That’s why it’s MARKET-ing!
If you think these COVID-19 times make the above statement non-applicable to your business due to dwindling revenues, LET US AFFIRM — Even if you earn a dollar today, save 50 cents for marketing. YES, more TODAY and POST COVID-19 PHASE than it EVER WAS.
NO, this isn’t coming from an agency perspective. This is from a BUSINESS that has always believed in delivering honest, true value to its clients, telling THE TRUTH to a fellow BUSINESS!
Interested to know why and how? Dive in!
Why Digital Marketing?
The advertising industry is a world of its own and we all understand that, marketing costs need to be optimized in the current situation so that maximum value is obtained at minimal budgets.
Agreed again, you can’t do everything.
So, what’s the safest way to optimize marketing to get high ROI?
Yes, Digital Marketing. There’s no better way to receive greater results at optimized costs than marketing on online platforms.
That was the basic part. Here’s the more opportunistic one.
“Necessity is the mother of innovation”!
True, all the biggest transformations in human history was born out of necessity. Reversing the coin, humanity is too lazy to change unless nature kicks them in the bu**!
Same for digital transformation!
Digital economies and online transformation is a buzzword ever since computing revolutionized the planet. Markets, consumers, irrespective of location have explosively embraced these technologies into almost everything they do and use today.
However, the change has been gradual from the business aspect of things. Though consumers can’t walk a step without digital today, industries have been painfully slow to adapt to the transformation. This resulted in a BIG FAT GAP and finally, COVID-19 happened.
There are always two sides to a coin. The ongoing pandemic has taught everyone a very valuable lesson —
The digital economy would be THE economy going forward. It’s THE ONLY WAY to develop the next generation of an economy that’s resilient and safeguarded from natural disasters.
This is not just we talking.
· According to some studies, 94 percent of the FORTUNE 1000 businesses are already facing disruption due to COVID-19 and business resilience is the way forward. (NO DOUBT, DIGITAL IS THE ANSWER)
· According to comscore.com, visits to websites and apps increased by 61% in 2020 compared to last year
· According to a blog published on LinkedIn by the famed internationally renowned author Bernard Marr and one of top 5 global business influencers by LinkedIn, those who would be able to use technology and fast track transformation would be the ones ahead of competition
Rounding off, hence, when it comes to marketing, the answer is crystal clear again — DIGITAL MARKETING.
Yes, one more thing, digital marketing is often the very first and primary step to 360-degree digital transformation. Why? Because it touches clients!
This begs a question. HOW WOULD DIGITAL MARKETING LOOK LIKE AFTER COVID-19 Phase? And, as a business owner, which segments of digital marketing YOU MUST INVEST IN?
1: Build a Deeply Impacting Digital Asset NOW
The first and foremost step to consolidate your digital marketing activities is to have a fantastic digital asset that’s eye-popping and engaging for your end-users.
A major chunk of businesses feels that having pages on social media would suffice. Sadly, it doesn’t. A sound landing page and website builds and authority both for the masses and the teeny-tiny ‘logic above all’ codes that run Google’s search engine!
Two instances to make it all clear!
Suppose you receive an offer mail from email@example.com and another from firstname.lastname@example.org . Which one would you likely to trust more — the latter right? Same for your audience! BETTER, your website name flashes immediately with the mail id.
Again, a full-fledged web asset means it can be the center of all your digital activities (backlinking, social media traffic, mailers, campaigns, SEO) that would shoot up your brand’s web rankings and enable the audience to visit the site more.
MORE PEOPLE KNOW YOUR BRAND ONLINE, MORE PEOPLE RECALL IT, AND HENCE BUY FROM YOU!
Otherwise, you just have a page like the hundreds of millions out there with simply no differentiation!
Guess, what, stats say that on average, people are spending 1–2 hours more online during this phase than normal scenarios. This is the best time to build the asset and start popularizing the same so that it can get business-enough traction by the time the current situation stabilizes.
2: Build New Customer Touch-Points
We know, your physical locations are closed and you are wary of losing customers because of low interactions and first-hand experience!
But, do you know a fun fact? Data prices are an all-time low! In India, it’s perhaps one of the lowest compared to any other country.
You digitize your customer interactions and essentially build new customer touchpoints.
Think about this. How about installing a simple messenger chatbot that guides the customer to an intended page on the website where an online purchase can be made?
Or, a simple WhatsApp number integration with your lead ads! If people click on your ads, they can redirect to your WhatsApp number and directly talk with you.
Let me put another few.
A simple voice search button to your website or a streamlined application focused on your online deliverable.
Or, who knows, even create a meme page that links back to your website!
3: Create a Digital Business Model
Okay, you have an online asset and now have digitized your customer interactions so that they can easily navigate, engage, and communicate better online.
Here’s the next step.
Unleash your brand’s online business potential.
Even if you don’t have it right now, BUILD ONE! Create a new way to generate revenues online.
Remember — DIGITAL ECONOMY IS THE ECONOMY GOING FORWARD? Future-proof your business by going online!
Here’s what WE did for two of our clients that had no digital offerings and couldn’t come up with an idea to create one at low costs.
An educational institute owner lamented over lack of any revenue during this lockdown phase. What we did was simple! We proposed a complete e-learning model via video streaming applications. We would run online ads to gain admission count at trivial fees and then sew them all together for classes on certain days and time. There is practically no extra operational cost involved. The best part is when this period would be over; students can continue joining these ‘extra classes’ online from all over the country (being a physical institution, it only catered to local audiences).
For another customer who ran a food restaurant, we proposed to start special cooking classes online via Zoom. Again, joiners would be asked to pay a monthly subscription amount and they can learn from the top chefs in the city. The distribution could again be Pan-India in stark contrast to their local offerings physically.
So, these ideas not only created inexpensive online revenue channels but expanded the reach of businesses that were traditionally seen as local.
4: Build a Digital Presence without Paying Extra on Advertisements
This is again where many businesses falter these days.
Running a lead ad on social channels and Google ads aren’t the only ways to gain businesses online. There is a whole new universe called ORGANIC that doesn’t need any extra payments but only smart strategies. THIS IS GOLD FOR YOUR POST COVID-19 digital marketing phase.
A business age like fine wine when its main asset (Website) ranks at the top pages of Google and continues to hold into those ranks.
Once that happens, traffic continually flows to your website (Whenever you search a term on Google, 90% times you only surf through the links on the first 1–2 pages!) and you continually get ENQUIRIES!
How does this ranking magic happen?
Simple — and omnichannel organic strategy.
First of all, optimize your website with the top searched keywords, research some of the top-visited domains that publish content relevant to your industry and push articles there, do third party forum posting, put rich content on PR sites and generate backlinks–there are numerous ways to gather useful traffic all over the web and funnel them back to your site or main online asset.
Start the same today because many of your competitors are sitting idle pondering on balance sheets. By the time the COVID-19 phase stabilizes, boost the activities and gain fast rankings!
5. 3rd Party Listings
There are third party sites everywhere!
Whatever industry you might be in, there is a site that lists businesses like yours and a thousand others. And yes, they have fat-rich traffic!
If you know how Trivago became a real estate giant, you know how powerful aggregator sites are! And, Trivago was like an aggregator for aggregators!
There are many free sites where your business and even your online offerings could be listed. Optimize those using keywords, maintain the channels, and reply to customers immediately.
In a period where you are looking to build more customer touch-points, reach them for different channels, and consolidate your digital presence at optimum costs, this would be a fine idea.
This is no doubt a tough phase and that’s exactly why as a business owner, you need to digitally transform your marketing activities to stay future-proof! IT’S NOW OR NEVER!
Summarizing, here are 10 tips for specialized digital marketing after COVID-19 phase:
· Build assets- landing pages, websites, applications
· Create new customer touch-points- web chatbots, virtual web tour bots
· Better online connectivity — Whatsapp integration through your lead ads, messenger bots for instant replies
· Online business model — digital offerings and service
· Leverage video platforms to reach better to the audience, live sessions for constant engagements
· Try to provide VALUE BEFORE ALL! Data is cheap. Provide FREE tips and lessons on how to cope post-COVID-19, how to return lives to normalcy
· Organic — Polish up your existing channels, reply to negative reviews, do ORM strictly- Online servicing is going to boom and it makes no sense to have lower ratings
· Increase presence on multiple channels, push relevant content on popular sites to gain traffic
· Do public releases frequently to establish yourself as a value-driven brand
· List your online offerings on 3rd party/aggregator sites
That’s all for today. Stay safe, stay well.